When it comes to math homework or doing taxes, numbers are usually a bore. But when it comes to sports, statistics and numbers are cool -- and they help us win bar arguments. The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year and the stats are more critical than ever.
Here are some interesting numbers about the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots that will prepare you for Sunday's kickoff.
The Patriots are favored by just 2 points over the Seahawks.
Tom Brady was sacked on just 4.1 percent of his pass attempts, third best in the league. The Patriots’ short passing routes and exceptional timing help keep this number low.
When he steps onto the field Sunday, Brady will have made 6 Super Bowl starts, more than any other quarterback.
The last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl was 2004, so head coach Bill Belichick's squad will look to end an 11-year drought despite a long stretch of success in the regular season.
Both teams won 12 regular season games to finish atop their respective divisions. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski also caught 12 touchdowns in 2014, the most for his position.
The Patriots turned the ball over just 13 times in 16 regular season games. That tied for league best with Green Bay. The Seahawks weren’t exactly turnover machines, however, finishing second with 14. In this postseason, the Patriots have turned it over twice, while the Seahawks have lost the ball five times.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch also ran for 13 touchdowns, tied for best in the league.
The Seahawks overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game to reach the Super Bowl. Seattle won in overtime, 28-22.
The Patriots will likely focus on Lynch, No. 24. The powerful running back rushed for 1,306 yards in 2014. He had 157 yards and a touchdown against the Packers.
The Patriots' offense scored 29.3 points per game in 2014, fourth in the NFL. The Seahawks averaged 24.6. In the playoffs New England has averaged 40 points per game, while Seattle has averaged 29.5.
New England's offense made 37 first downs this year on penalties. That’s the sixth most in the league. Seattle was 26th with 24 first downs made via penalty.
This makes sense. You would expect New England to get more first downs via penalty because of pass interference and defensive holding calls on pass attempts. The Patriots threw the ball 155 more times than Seattle. The Seahawks passed the ball less than any other team, with 454 regular season attempts.
Gronkowski, perhaps Brady’s best weapon and a player Seattle’s defense will be intent on containing, wears No. 87. "Gronk" led all tight ends in 2014 with 1,124 receiving yards and 19 catches of more than 20 yards.
Seahawks placekicker Steven Hauschka converted all of his tries from within 40 yards in 2014, and finished with the fifth-best percentage. His longest field goal was 58 yards.
Stephen Gostkowski was the most accurate placekicker in the NFL in 2014, converting 35 of his 37 field goal attempts for the Patriots. He attempted only one kick over 50 yards, and he converted it.
The Patriots had a point differential (points scored minus points allowed) of 155 and the Seahawks had a point differential of 140 -- tops in their respective conferences. In the end, that is what matters: Both teams scored a ton more points than they allowed.
The Patriots' Julian Edelman caught 17 passes for 172 yards in just two playoff games this postseason. He is expected to be a key figure on Sunday.
Lynch leads all rushers in the postseason with 216 yards in two games. He ran for only 59 yards against the Carolina Panthers in the divisional playoff game, but then gained 157 against the Packers.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson rushed for 849 yards in the regular season. No other QB even rushed for even 700 in 2014.
Roughly 78,000 tickets have been sold for the game, being held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.